|My current daily-carry sketch kit|
It would not be an overstatement to say that most people on earth have had to make at least minor and sometimes major changes to their habits and lifestyles through this pandemic. While it’s been an upheaval and ordeal for many, we’re fortunate that adjustments to our retired lifestyle have been relatively few on the day-to-day level. Washing my hands constantly, avoiding touching my face, wearing a mask in public, regularly sanitizing often-touched household surfaces, shopping online for groceries (and everything else) – they’re all things I never considered a couple of months ago, but now they’re part of my normal routine.
My sketch kit, too, has changed to accommodate my corona consciousness. Sketching on location used to be something that I could do wherever I chose, with or without friends (my main grumble being inhospitable weather). Or I could indulge in it spontaneously during my walk/sketch fitness outings. I’ll never again take those luxuries for granted. Now urban sketching is a treat that must be planned and considered carefully.
On my daily walks, I’ve continued to take the mini-size Rickshaw bag I used for my walk/sketch fitness outings. Planning the current materials I carry for the subjects I’m likely to see and the speed at which I need to sketch, I removed the ballpoint pen and graphite pencil, which are only for leisurely times. The current selection are six urban colors of Caran d’Ache Museum Aquarelles, a water-soluble graphite ArtGraf pencil, a Uni Pin brush pen, a waterbrush and my water spritzer bottle (which, ironically, contained hand sanitizer – a product I never used back then – when it was purchased; I recall pouring it down the drain because I didn’t like the scent). The kit seems spartan – even less than what I carried during my winter minimalism challenge – yet it’s plenty during these dire times.
Ironically, the only times I now use my full (formerly) daily-carry Rickshaw bag is to sketch in the backyard or from our upstairs deck. I don’t have anywhere else to carry it.